New eighteenth century Sneztler Organ
On Monday 12 January the School was delighted to receive this magnificent 18th century Sneztler Organ on long-term loan from Westminster Abbey.
Formerly housed in the Abbey's Lady Chapel (also known as the Henry VII Chapel), the instrument was built by a Swiss organ-builder called John Snetzler (1710-1785) and is actually a composite of two instruments. The casework dates from 1766-7 and was originally built for Mr Kershaw (1737-1806), a Yorkshireman with extensive business interests, who lived in Halifax. The pipework came from an organ built by Snetzler in 1759 for Clyffe House, Tincleton near Dorchester, Dorset.
A note in ink in an eighteenth-century hand, pasted onto the front of the soundboard, records:
Built by Snetzler/In 1766-7 For/Mr Kershaw [of] Halifax at/The same time the/Halifax old Church/Organ was Built. The organ has been documented by several authors, who identified that the soundboard dated from 1759.
It is a great honour for the Vaughan to have been asked to house this historic instrument and we are very grateful to the Dean of the Abbey, the Very Reverend John Hall, and the Organist of the Abbey, James O'Donnell (who is a patron of the Vaughan's Schola) for offering it to us. They were keen that the instrument be used liturgically and in its new home in the chapel it will be played during the School's Benediction and other services.